One of the benefits of being a member of a wine tasting club is that you get to try new and different wines that you might not ordinarily try as an individual. That was the case yesterday when our Vintage Wine Club blind-tasted six Cote du Rhone wines. What a treat to be able to compare these wonderful wines side-by-side. At each meeting, our nine members pitch in an equal amount of money to cover the cost of the six wines. We didn’t just pick any wines off the shelf. Our host Jerry hustled up to his favorite wine shop in San Francisco, The Wine Club, and received advice from David Goodwin, one of the wine buyers at The Wine Club and a former sommelier. Four of the wines were from the Northern Rhone and two from the Southern Rhone. The prices ranged from a low of $12.99 to a high of $37.99. I am happy to report that all nine members agreed that the wines were all excellent and not a flaw in any of them. Here are the wines we tasted and where they placed in our blind tasting.
1 Chante Cgale – Chateauneuf-Du-Pape 2007 – $32.99
2. Gigondas Andriexx & Fils 2007 – $37.99
3. Saint Cosme 2009 – Cotes du Rhone – $13.99
4. Domaine de Mourchon 2007 Cotes du Rhone Villages – $12.99
5. Jean-Marie Arnoux Vacqueyras 2007 – $19.99
6. Croxes Hermitage – Mollard 2007 – $17.99
The two big bargain wines in the mix are the Saint Cosme 2007 for $13.99 at The Wine Club (S.F., San Jose, L.A) or $15.99 at the Wine Stop in Burlingame. I rated this wine at 89 points. The Domaine de Mourchon at $12.99 was right behind at 88 points in my book. Now if you do have the chance to splurge, the Chante Cagle Chateauneuf-Du-Pape
is a big beautiful wine. The aroma and flavors are true Old World and you just want to savor every sip. The finish is long and smooth and lingers in your mouth. I would be hard pressed to find a wine that is this good at the price of $32.99. It is a 92-point wine in our estimation. By the way David Goodwin stated that among the wines of France, the Cote du Rhone wines offer the best values to his wine customers. We have so many good California wines that sometimes it is hard to break away and try something you have never had before. Take the word of the Vintage Wine Club, go out and buy yourself a Cote du Rhone; it probably won’t be your last.